Lifestyle » Health
Yes, we are still on the topic of training together.
I have had the pleasure to train with partners that are much stronger than me. This for some can be defeating but for me I view it differently.
Training with someone who is fitter, stronger or faster than me motivates me to train harder and become fitter, stronger and faster as well. In fact, I tend to use my partners as my goal post. Perhaps it’s a strategy.
The tough but great thing about that is that their goal posts keep moving forward so there is hardly an end point. It’s also part of the reason why I manage to keep active right through the year.
A faster running partner motivates me to run faster. A cycling partner who climbs hills motivates me to ramp up my training in order to do just that.
My current mountain biking partner lives in Cape Town and has access to riding up mountains on a daily basis. Being based in Joburg, I don’t have that luxury.
In October, we took part in a three-day mountain bike race (Wines2Whales) in Cape Town and I witnessed how easily she cruised up all the climbs, leaving me in the dust.
With that said, my new goal is to work on my leg power and strength for those climbs so that the next time we ride together I don’t get left behind.
I hope you see what I mean here when I refer to utilising your training partner as a goal post.
In this partnership my strength is my technical ability on the trails and therefore her goal now is to polish up her technical skills so that we can complement each other the next time we ride together.
Another example is my gym buddy. My choice of training partner in the gym is a man and he’s obviously much stronger than I am. He lifts heavier weights and most often performs more repetitions than I can manage.
But with that said, I still do exactly the same exercises as him even though the weights are not the same.
He tries not to do more repetitions than me to help motivate me to keep going, so he simply uses heavier weights. Week on week I, too, gradually increase the weight as I become stronger.
I hope you get the point that I’m making by sharing these stories. Sometimes it’s good to pit yourself against or alongside someone who is slightly superior to you fitness wise.
The aim is to put aside any egotistical thoughts about “losing” to your partner or being the weaker or slower one.
I can already see the benefits of playing cat and mouse with my partners and pitting myself against them.
Being the stronger partner, their view is different. Having me constantly chasing them motivates them to push harder and become stronger, fitter and faster. It never ends.
Lesson: Don’t be afraid to train with people who are not in your fitness league because if you train alone, you don’t have a bench mark. Two are better than one.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and cofounder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego. zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.